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Best Practice at its best!

An innovative element of the 19th IALA Conference in Incheon was a special session devoted to a “Best Practice Competition”. Eight presentations (all excellent and all deserving of an award!) led a team of five judges to declare as the winner the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for its disaster preparations and response during the devastating hurricane season of 2017.

The presentation highlighted the invaluable role of virtual and synthetic AIS-AtoN when physical aids to navigation are damaged. The use of e-AtoN also proved a critical time-saver in the aftermath of the storms as they greatly reduced the need for physical surveys to assess damage.

The runner-up commendation went to Argentina’s Hidrovia S.A. for its perseverance in finding a technically practical and effective, economical, and environmentally friendly solution to keeping buoys and other aids to navigation clean from ‘guano’, the accumulated excrements of birds which cause loss of colour conspicuity of the signals.

The presentation highlighted the extent of the problem encountered in the Paraguay River – Paraná Waterway system due to the presence of large bird colonies.

The photo shows Mr David Lewald of the USCG’s Office of Navigation Systems and Mr Raoul S. Escalante, Hidrovia S.A.’s Manager, being honoured by the newly elected IALA Council during the closing ceremony of the Conference.